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Author Topic: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?  (Read 2064 times)

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Offline wforwumbo

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2021, 12:03:16 PM »
Certified PhD in architectural acoustics here, and I’ve been a mix engineer for half of my life.

I’m gonna echo everything Gutbucket says. You gotta seal up the space and add as much mass as you possibly can. Box-in-box construction is standard for many high end studios, and box-spring-box systems offer the best isolation IMO, though it’s obviously gratuitously expensive.

Owens Corning 703 is a standard. It ain’t cheap but it is effective when placed correctly. Personally since my grad school days I have taken medium to heavy weight blankets and cover them with boho shawls for building acoustical absorbers - much cheaper and aesthetically more in tune with my hippie sensibilities, and gets you most of the way there. Building the frame to be rigid and sturdy will be the biggest challenge. Air gaps can help, but only to an extent - they serve to “trap” waves with a 1/4 wavelength shorter than the distance between the wall and absorber, and keep in mind it’s still possible for sound to diffract around materials if you’re not careful in your construction.

My usual advice to people is, focus on making a good room better rather than trying to fix a bad room. The same philosophy carries over to mixing and mastering but that’s another conversation for another day. I get convenience is a thing, but trust me your basement will become a time, energy, and money pit if you try and wrangle it in to do what you want when that’s not what it wants to do. Reflections are not always the enemy, so don’t focus on making your room a sealed dead box if that’s not what it wants to do. Listen to the space telling you what it wants to do, and if it’s at a baseline “acceptable” sound then work to bring out the best in it; if it isn’t, I suggest you spend your efforts finding a good room to mix and master in.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2021, 04:33:30 PM »
Certified PhD in architectural acoustics here, and I’ve been a mix engineer for half of my life.

I’m gonna echo everything Gutbucket says. You gotta seal up the space and add as much mass as you possibly can. Box-in-box construction is standard for many high end studios, and box-spring-box systems offer the best isolation IMO, though it’s obviously gratuitously expensive.

Owens Corning 703 is a standard. It ain’t cheap but it is effective when placed correctly. Personally since my grad school days I have taken medium to heavy weight blankets and cover them with boho shawls for building acoustical absorbers - much cheaper and aesthetically more in tune with my hippie sensibilities, and gets you most of the way there. Building the frame to be rigid and sturdy will be the biggest challenge. Air gaps can help, but only to an extent - they serve to “trap” waves with a 1/4 wavelength shorter than the distance between the wall and absorber, and keep in mind it’s still possible for sound to diffract around materials if you’re not careful in your construction.

My usual advice to people is, focus on making a good room better rather than trying to fix a bad room. The same philosophy carries over to mixing and mastering but that’s another conversation for another day. I get convenience is a thing, but trust me your basement will become a time, energy, and money pit if you try and wrangle it in to do what you want when that’s not what it wants to do. Reflections are not always the enemy, so don’t focus on making your room a sealed dead box if that’s not what it wants to do. Listen to the space telling you what it wants to do, and if it’s at a baseline “acceptable” sound then work to bring out the best in it; if it isn’t, I suggest you spend your efforts finding a good room to mix and master in.

Thanks for adding your professional experience here.

I was considering making some DIY absorbers for my finished basement "studio" area where I sometimes record vocal tracks. It is an area about 11'x11', carpeted, drywall with an 8' ceiling and totally open towards the rear. I've never had problems monitoring there, but the past year or so I have found myself recording vocal tracks and I am definitely hearing some early reflection issues. It's almost certainly the ceiling as the main culprit, since my preferred vocal recording technique is in front of and above the singer / speaker with the mic angled down aimed at the bridge of the nose, about 2' away. That has my mic only about 1-1.5' ft from the ceiling.

DIY 703 panels look like a great way to go, but I was poking around my back storage room and found I have a few pieces of this stuff which I used years ago to quiet down my upright piano when living in an apartment building. There are no specs on it, but it is quite absorptive and mid and high frequencies. What would you recommend as far as making these into presentable-looking clouds, and mounting them to drywall without using spray adhesive? I have 2 pieces about 1x3, and two more about 2x2; none in the original shape.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2021, 09:29:47 AM »
Quote
Box-in-box construction is standard for many high end studios, and box-spring-box systems offer the best isolation IMO, though it’s obviously gratuitously expensive.

When the founder/engineer/bassist Gabe (I'm spacing on his last name) buit the Daptone studio into a row house in Brooklyn on a the cheap something like 15-20 years ago, he used old car tires as spring elements supporting the interior box. Always thought that clever, and metaphorically appropriate for the Motown inspired enterprise. I recall a Youtube vid where they talk about hacking the studio together and getting going.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2021, 09:53:45 AM »
Voltronic, I have no comment on the acoustics of mounting the panels to your ceiling, but my suggestion would be to attach them to a 1/4 plywood or similar panel and then screw it to the ceiling.   If the acoustical foam is spray mounted to the drywall, that could be a real headache to remove from the ceiling later. 


Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2021, 09:47:08 PM »
Voltronic, I have no comment on the acoustics of mounting the panels to your ceiling, but my suggestion would be to attach them to a 1/4 plywood or similar panel and then screw it to the ceiling.   If the acoustical foam is spray mounted to the drywall, that could be a real headache to remove from the ceiling later.

Yes, that's the whole reason I don't want to use the spray adhesive that all the companies seem to recommend with foam panels.

I was also thinking of building some cheap frames for them and covering with fabric matched to the paint in the room. Something like this looks nice:
https://www.gikacoustics.com/product/diy-bass-trap-acoustic-panel-frames/
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Acoustic treatments for “Mastering Room”?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2021, 03:06:27 PM »
I don't think I'd want to suspend any wood frames overhead unless you were very, very careful to make sure they were well attached to the ceiling.  For the work involved, I wonder if it would be that much better than suspending an acoustical blanket with a net.   Fire safety would be an important consideration. 

I've built frames like the ones you linked and routed out the sides.  It was a lot of work to rout the cutouts in the sides. 

The easier and cheaper method is to use  6' cedar fence boards to build a simple frame around 2x4 sections of minwool insulation---but again, not something I'd suspend overhead.  I'd suggest predrilling the cedar to keep it from splitting when you screw it together if you decided to build some simple frames for your space.  Or just run an open studwall from floor to ceiling and fill the openings with minwool insulation. 

 

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